Speaking before crowd of nearly 300 people at the Ashland Optimist Club on Wednesday, Sen. Claire McCaskill answered questions on everything from the President’s weapons proposal to health care to marijuana.

Most of all, some noted, McCaskill was there to engage with voters.

The event was a part of Sen. McCaskill multi-city tour, including rural Missouri communities of Tipton, Eldon and others.

While there were political protestors from the Democrat and Republican points of view, Optimist Club member Ernie Wren said nearly all of the protestors were from out of town.

“She provided a very intelligent and informative perspective on questions provided by the audience,” Wren wrote. “What was qually impressive was the amount of civility, respect and engagement she provided not only to those who support her, but to those in the audience that held opposing viewpoints. It was a great town hall meeting!”

McCaskill took the stage just after 5:30, arriving to a standing ovation, and immediately began taking questions.

While she noted that she was in “Republican territory,” McCaskill, a Hickman High School graduate, must have also enjoyed engaging in voters in her home county. Some voters bemoaned the fact that Sen. Roy Blunt has not made an appearance at a town hall meeting since the holiday break began. That tactic is similar to most Republicans, who have been avoiding questions about the upcoming vote on a health care bill.

No McCaskill.

McCaskill noted that she receives her health care coverage from the Affordable Care Act and says she pays “about $700 a month.”

Some of the other topics addressed included:

  • McCaskill asked how many in the audience supported the GOP House or Senate Health care plans – no one raised their hand. The Senator predicted neither version will pass and predicted the ACA will be improved. McCaskill said her goal is to get more healthy people in the pool. “You are also required to get auto insurance,” McCaskill said.
  • She said she wants to work with Pres. Trump on paid family leave. McCaskill noted she spoke with Ivanka Trump earlier in the day on the topic.
  • The Senator told the crowd she supported the “reclassification” of marijuana.
  • McCaskill denied one speaker ho said Republicans “hate” Democrats. McCaskill did not agree and said Republicans don’t want Democratic input, but she also condemned the shooting of Rep. Steve Scales.
  • McCaskill said some in the Democratic party ere unhappy with her vote for Pres. Trump’s weapons proposal. She noted she also voted for Pres. Obama’s plan.
  • McCaskill endorsed sheltered workshops. She said it is the “moral thing to do,” and that there are cost savings. The audience cheered loudly at that statement.
  • However, McCaskill had to calm the crowd down when some were shouting questions at her, stating it was not “orderly.” While Ashland Police were on hand, they were not required to deal with anyone in the audience.